Work Outs: January 10 – 16, 2021 (Steam Locomotive Video, Forest Elves, and Paint Cat)

We like to go hiking on the trails at Henry Cowell State Park in Felton, California, which is about 15 minutes from our house. On one of our hikes in December 2020 we happened to be in the right place at the right time and I took some video with my cell phone of one of the steam trains making its way past us. The edited video is a bit over a minute and a half and you can check it out here or by clicking the video below.

The trains are run by an outfit called Roaring Camp and Big Trees, which offers rides through the redwoods and also offers a service shuttling people from Felton to nearby Santa Cruz and back again. The train in question is a Shay locomotive called the Dixiana and was built in 1912 by the Lima Locomotive Works of Ohio. Roaring Camp got their hands on the train in 1962.

Sun, January 10th

Afternoon Workout

  • Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Levels 9 – 14 for the first 15 minutes and 10 – 15 for the second half of the session. I followed this video again. The workout was interval training along with some upper body range of motion work and getting off the bike for some quick calisthenics. I did four sets of leg lifts for 12 reps each. (Coach Kim doesn’t give us much time before we jump back on the bike!)
  • Mostly static stretching for 20 minutes.
  • Walked 5.17 miles.

Calories: 2096, Protein: 135 g.

Mon, January 11th

Morning Walk: Three miles. I went back to the park a couple of hours later and jogged two miles over mostly flat terrain. Calories: 2150, Protein: 125 g.

Tues, January 12th

I did the “Taekwondo Follow Along Class – White Belt – Class #1″ from Global Martial Arts University in the afternoon. I’ve taken a little Taekwondo in the past, but figure I’ll start at the beginning again since I didn’t keep up the training.

Afternoon Walk for 3.43 miles. Calories: 1797, Protein: 137 g.

There are a lot of forest elves living in Henry Cowell Park and one sees their anonymous handiwork quite a bit on the local trails. Their talents run to more than just decorating trees at Christmas. I ran across this little scene on top of a pile of rail ties not too long after taking the train video and I thought I’d include it here since it kind of fits with the whole railroad motif thing.

Wed, January 13th

Morning Walk: 3.35 miles and an afternoon walk of 3.92 miles for a total of 7.27 miles for the day.

I warmed up for the deck of cards by doing a bunch of high energy vacuuming down in the cellar and then worked the Taekwondo white belt “Stances” lesson on the Global Martial Arts University site.** The lesson taught the difference between a sparring stance and fighting stance, ending with drills.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsAlternating Stationary Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct) 10 Goblet Full Squats (30 lb. DB)
ClubsDead Bugs (3-ct)10 Cossack Squats (Four Point)
DiamondsStanding Side Crunches (3-ct)30 Squats
SpadesSnap Kick Exercise (2-ct)10 Rom. Dead Lifts (15 lb. DB’s)
AcesBlack = 20 Full SquatsRed = 20 Hindu Squats
First Joker20 Bridging Exercise (2-ct)
Second Joker60 Supine Leg Windmills (ea. way)

I noticed some irritation in the top of my right quad in the upper rectus femoris area when I was about half way through the deck. I learned long ago not to try and work through an irritation because this is the body’s way of trying and get you to stop doing something before there is a full blown injury. The only exercise I noticed this with was lunges, so I substituted kneeling squats (2-ct) for the remainder of the deck.

Toward the end of the deck I managed a few three point Cossack Squats. I still have some work to do so far as getting my heels flat on the mat when I’m fully in the down position, which is one of my current goals.

Deck of Cards workout music: Mirror of Souls album by Theocracy. Calories: 2081, Protein 150 g.

Thur, January 14th

Morning Walk: 3.12 miles. Calories: 2045, Protein: 132 g.

Fri, January 15th

Morning Walk: 3.89 miles.

Afternoon Work out | Weight Lifting Music: Aggressive Metal Songs Volume 1.

  • Reviewed Taekwondo white belt “Stances” lesson and did the “Switching” lesson on the Global Martial Arts University. “Switching” highlighted some of the basic mechanics of switching the legs for kicking.
  • Arnold Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 7 reps, 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Incline Push ups (4th stair): 4 sets x 10 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 12 lbs. x 13 reps, 15 lbs. x 8 reps, (15 lbs. x 6 reps + 12 lbs. x 5 reps), 12 lbs. x 12 reps
  • DB Front Raises: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 9, 8, 9, 9 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • DB Prone Rear Delt Row: 8 lbs. x 12 reps, 10 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 10, 8, 8, 7 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Flies: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 3 sets x 9, 8, 8 reps
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm): (12.5 lbs. x 5 reps + 10 lbs. x 5 reps), 10 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) Crunches: 30 reps
    • (Set #3) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 70 reps
    • (Set #4) DB American Swings: 30 lbs. x 12 reps

Calories: 2057, Protein: 161 g.

Sat, January 16th

Rest Day. Went to the chiropractor for routine maintenance. I tried to get Paint Cat to come down cellar and train with me (maybe some HIIT work chasing rats around?), but she said, “Naw, I’m good right where I am,” and after I thought about it I decided to join her. So ends another week.

Roxy is nobody’s fool.

Calories: 1887, Protein: 142 g. (I lost 0.8 pounds this week, so my total loss is 18.8 lbs.)

Work Outs: January 3 – 9, 2021 (Christmas in the Forest and Peanut Butter Pinecones)

I took an “active rest” from December 20th through January 3rd where I didn’t lift any weights but we did do a fair amount of hiking on the local trails. We got a little bit of a surprise out on one of our usual hikes, which made me smile, when we stumbled upon the Christmas Grove a few days before Christmas. Someone had spared no effort!

I’m making a couple of changes to my training with the start of the new year. First, after a few months of working in the 12 – 15 repetition range, I’m going to decrease that to 8 – 12 reps for many exercises and increase the set intensity a bit. I also decided to up my protein intake to about 150 grams per day. Finally, I’m going to pay a bit better attention to how much rest I take between sets, now that I’m aiming a bit more at muscle hypertrophy, and keep it in the 1 – 2 minute range rather than “just going when I feel ready,” though I’m still going to do that too.

Mon, January 4th

  • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 10 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 20 lbs. x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 12 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Front Raises: 10 lbs. x 12 reps, 3 sets x 13 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Flies: 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • DB Prone Rear Delt Row: 5 lbs. x 12 reps, 6 lbs. x 12, 15, 15 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12, 8, 8, 7 reps
  • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 12, 10, 8, 8 reps
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) Standing Side Crunches (each side): 12 reps
    • (Set #3) DB American Swings: 20 lbs. x 15 reps
    • (Set #4) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 60 reps

Calories: 1969, Protein: 151 g.

The Christmas Grove is a place where several trails come together and in addition to regular trees is also home to many Messed Up Trees. Besides the stand of trees pictured above, the forest elves also decorated single trees dotted around the grove as well. I thought it was rather nice of the elves to include a tree with edible decorations.

I have to admit the peanut butter and popcorn pinecone was a little tempting, but I resisted with some gentle help from my husband. “You really aren’t going to eat that are you!?”* I relented ostensibly because while I love peanut butter I’m not going to eat that stuff that is loaded with hydrogenated fats and palm oil. I am a peanut butter connoisseur after all!

Anyway, between the carrots, cranberries, popcorn, persimmons and so on it was a veritable smorgasbord for the critters. I hope whoever cleaned off that pinecone enjoyed it!

Tues, January 5th

Afternoon Walk for 3.43 miles. Calories: 1984, Protein: 154 g.

Wed, January 6th

Morning Walk: 3.14 miles and an afternoon walk of 3.44 miles for a total of 6.58 miles for the day.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsAlternating Stationary Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 Goblet Full Squats (30 lb. DB)
ClubsDead Bugs (2-ct)10 Cossack Squats (Four Point)
DiamondsStanding Side Crunches (2-ct)30 Squats
SpadesSingle Leg Balance Jacks (2-ct)10 Rom. Dead Lifts (10 lb. DB’s)
AcesBlack = 20 Full SquatsRed = 20 Hindu Squats
First Joker10 Full + 10 Hindu + 10 Squats
Second Joker30 Hip Raises + 50 Supine Leg Windmills (ea. way)

Stretched for 30 Minutes after doing the deck of cards. Deck of Cards workout music: Ghost Ship album by Theocracy. Calories: 2021, Protein 159 g.

Thur, January 7th

Morning Walk: 3.48 miles. We went for another walk in the afternoon for 3.54 miles. Our total for the day was 7.08 miles. Calories: 1985, Protein: 159 g.

Fri, January 8th

Morning Walk: 3.51 miles, and a 3.25 mile afternoon walk for a total of 6.76 miles. Calories: 1846, Protein: 159 g.

Here is a semi-lonely little tree in another part of the grove. My friend, Daniel (of Imperial Guard fame) said, when he saw the picture on Facebook, that it made him “think of the classic Charlie Brown tree,” and I can see that. It is a little weedy, though I don’t think it has quite managed to achieve a Charlie Brown level of weediness. 🙂

The Charlie Brown tree still had its ornaments when we walked by in the afternoon today, but I did notice that some of others were returned to their natural state with nary a plastic holiday ornament to be found. I’m hoping that whoever put up the decorations finishes taking them down by the end of the month. If they linger into February I might pack out a bagful each time I go by. Hoping I won’t have to though.

Sat, January 9th

A bit of new notation today: The bang or exclamation point after a rep number means that while I completed the indicated reps, I’m not happy with my form at that weight, typically for the last rep or two.

Morning Walk: 2.22 miles.

Afternoon Work out | (Music: Disturbed play list.)

  • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 70 lbs. x 13 reps, 75 lbs. x 3 sets x 9, 8, 8 reps
  • DB Pull Overs on Bench: 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 10, 9, 9, 8 reps
  • Pull Downs (d-handles): 60 lbs. x 8! reps, 55 lbs. x 3 sets x 12, 11, 12 reps, 60 lbs. x 8! reps
  • DB Bicep Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps, (25 lbs. x 5 reps + 20 lbs. x 3 reps), (25 lbs. x 3 reps + 20 lbs. x 2 reps + 15 lbs. x 3 reps), 20 lbs. x 8 reps
  • DB Shrugs: 30 lbs. x 15 reps, 35 lbs. x 15 reps, 40 lbs. x 15 reps, 45 lbs. x 13 reps
  • Seated DB Cleans: 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Cable Crunches: 40 lbs. x 4 sets x 15 reps
  • Exercise Complex
    • Fitness Bag Pick Up and Shoulder: 8 reps
    • Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 25 reps
    • Wrist Roller (cable): 15 lbs. x 1 winding and unwinding
    • Internal and External Shoulder Rotation taking place anterior to frontal plane (orange band, both arms) x 15 reps**
    • DB American Swings: 25 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Heavy Spring Bar: 4 reps (P) + 4 reps (S)
    • Internal and External Shoulder Rotation (black tubing, both arms): 15 reps
    • Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Sport):
    • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 10 reps, Left = Closed x 9 reps
    • (Set 2): Right = Closed x 9 reps, Left = Closed x 5 reps + 4 reps
    • (Set 3): Right = Closed x 8 reps, Left = Closed x 4 reps + 4 reps
    • (Set 4): Right = Closed x 7 + 1 reps, Left = Closed x 4 reps + 4 reps

Calories: 2020, Protein: 154 g. (I was the same weight as the last time I weighed myself in mid-December, so my total loss remains at 18 lbs.)


* No I wasn’t, but I did have fun seeing the look on his face when he thought I was going to try a sample. I do love peanut butter after all!

** I’m going to have to poke around and see if I can find a proper name for this exercise.

Work Outs: December 13 – 19, 2020 (and pulling Scotch Broom)

When we moved near Santa Cruz, California some years ago I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with my now old friend, Scotch Broom. Apparently the plant was was brought into the United States “from Europe in the mid-1800’s” to add to gardens and for soil stabilization.* The stuff doesn’t look too horrible and is quite pretty when it flowers, producing lots of bright, yellow blooms.

It does come with some problems though, not the least of which is once broom establishes a foothold, it is very hard to get rid of and keeps coming back.** It reminds me of bamboo, which is the same. The plants develop a lot of seeds “that are naturally spring loaded,” so that the pods can scatter away from the parent “with the force of a tiny explosion.” That is probably why the stuff is all over the place in our area.

Anyway, this is a picture of one patch of the stuff near one side of my house before I yanked it all on Monday. Keep in mind that I’ve been pulling this stuff some years now.

Mon, December 14th

Morning Walk for 2.58 miles and late afternoon walk for 3.62 miles for a total of 6.2 miles for the day. Also spent a couple of hours today pulling broom in our yard.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 2 reps + 3, Left = 12mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 2mm x 3 reps +2, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 4mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 5 + 1, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps

Calories: 1976 Protein: 129 g.

Tues, December 15th

Morning Walk for 3.73 miles and late afternoon walk for 3.58 miles for a total of 7.31 miles for the day.

Calories: 2022, Protein: 137 g.

Wed, December 16th

Morning Walk: 3.18 miles. Calories: 2559, Protein 144 g.

I haven’t let the broom in my yard get too out of hand, but the stuff can get quite big and thick if you let it. Below is a picture I took the other day when we were out hiking. I included my five foot walking stick in the foreground for scale. I’d say the plants in the stand were up to 8 or 9 feet high in places.

Thur, December 17th

Afternoon Walk: 3.31 miles.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 1 + 4 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 2mm x 6 reps, Left = 10mm x 4 + 1 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 2mm x 6 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 + 1 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 2mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 4 + 1 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 2mm x 2 + 3, Left = 8mm x 1 + 4 reps
  • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 10 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Front Raises: 10 lbs. x 12 reps, 10 lbs. x 6 reps + 8 lbs. x 6 reps, 8 lbs. x 15 reps, 10 lbs. x 12 reps
  • Heavy Spring Bar: 8-P, 8-S
  • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps

Calories: 2883, Protein: 138 g. (We got some take out from a local Mexican restaurant so the numbers today are an estimate. To be safe the estimate is probably a bit on the high side.)

Scotch broom leaves grow in little groups of three like in the picture above. If we had this stuff in Maine when I was kid I could definitely see myself having done something like using an X-Acto knife to cobble together my own four leaf clover and try to trick people into believing I’d found the real thing. I went through my childhood wishing I could find a four leaf clover and keeping my eyes open for one because I wanted one like the real one my grandmother kept in a bible.

Fri, December 18th

Morning Walk: 3.28 miles, and a 4.73 mile afternoon walk for a total of 8.01 miles. During the afternoon walk when we were making a pit stop I did 100 squats and toward the end of the walk I did a little uphill jogging.

  • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 15 reps, 70 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 15 reps, 55 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Fitness Bag Bicep Curls: 2 sets x 13 reps, 2 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Bicep Curls: 25 lbs. x 8 reps
  • Exercise Complex (FOUR SETS)
    • Fitness Bag Cleans: 8 reps
    • DB Shrugs: 30 lbs. x 15 reps, 35 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 12 reps
    • Alternating Sets of Hindu and Full Squats: 10 reps
    • Internal and External Shoulder Rotation through frontal plane (orange band, one arm) x 12 reps
  • Stretched for about 20 minutes later when I was watching our ovens to make sure dinner didn’t burn.

Calories: 2408, Protein: 125 g.

Scotch Broom is one of those plants with a very long root and it will readily grow back if you just break off the top of the plant and leave the root. That is one reason why I generally pull it after a good rain like I did this time. The larger plants anchor themselves very firmly in dry ground and the root will often break off, even in wet ground. So I sometimes have to loosen the dirt around the larger plants, like the one below, with a trowel.

It took a bit of work, but I managed to fill the yard waste bin pictured above (mostly) with Scotch Broom and most of a second one too. So I’m probably good on the Scotch broom front for a few more months. This will allow me to turn my attentions now to the blackberry thorns, that had engulfed much of our back yard and even wrapped themselves around some of our smaller trees. Much like the broom, constant vigilance is required to keep them sorted.

Sat, December 19th

Calories: 2192, Protein: 132 g. (I lost 0.8 pounds this week, so my total loss is 18 lbs. so far.)


* The quoted material is from this article:

Warnert, Jeannette, E. “Beautiful but ecologically harmful shrubs get a foothold in California forests.” Green Blog, 14 June 2013. Accessed 17 December 2020.

** I learned, when I was reading about Scotch Broom, that there are many other types of broom, which were brought into the U.S. including French and Spanish Broom. I had no idea though I’m not surprised. The stuff all looks pretty similar but everyone around here calls the stuff we have “Scotch Broom” so that is what I’ll go with.

Work Outs: December 6 – 12, 2020 (Undermined Tree and Squash Cache)

Sun, December 6th

I found this stand of trees interesting because when I was on one side of the hill nothing appeared amiss, but when I climbed over to the other side I saw that erosion had exposed their root systems. I imagine these trees probably won’t be upright much longer. I’ll have to see if I can find them again one of these days and see how they are doing.

When I see stuff like this I often find myself thinking about applying what I see out in Nature to my life or to life in general.

I remember being introduced to the rudiments of this sort of thinking in high school and it came up quite a bit again in more depth during my freshman and sophomore years in college. Once I learned more about it, I realized that it was probably just as well that the teenaged me hasn’t gone around telling people she was a Transcendentalist.

Even so, I did churn out reams of poetry along what I then thought were transcendental lines, though a lot of it was probably incomprehensible. I don’t have any of those poems now, though I think a couple might still survive if any of the (now) dusty journals they were published in are still kicking around. I wasn’t keeping good track of such things back then so I don’t even remember the names of said magazines and journals.

Mon, December 7th

While I kind of wish that I still had saved more of my old work, I don’t think my misplacing them is any great loss to American Letters. Still, I’m a bit more careful about such things now. Perhaps there is lesson about all this in the plight of the undermined trees?

Rest Day. Calories: 2600, Protein: 104 g.

Tues, December 8th

Morning Walk: 3.31 miles.

Can’t use the basement today for working out because of paint fumes. Plus I don’t want to drag my cat litter fitness bag upstairs and make a bunch of noise with it while my husband is trying to work in his office, so I dug out my old 8 lb. medicine ball, which doesn’t get much use these days, for the Tuesday deck of cards workout.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsMB Walking Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 Hindu Squats
ClubsKitchen Counter Push-ups x 210 Cossack Squats (Partials)
DiamondsBent Over MB Rows x 2 + Side Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 MB Full Squat and Reach
SpadesMB Torso Rotation (2-ct)10 MB Rom. Dead Lifts
Aces (any suit)/JokersBlack = 20 Full Squats
Red = 20 Hindu Squats
Joker = 10 Full + 10 Hindu Squats

Calories: 1965, Protein: 117 g.

Wed, December 9th

Morning Walk: 3.27 miles.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 4mm x 6 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 2mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 6): Right = Closed x 2 reps, Left = 8mm x 5 reps

Calories: 1980, Protein: 140 g.

This little pile of squash and such caught my eye when we were out in the woods a couple of days ago. Although the picture makes them look sort of front and center, they were a bit off the beaten trail and I almost missed them. Apparently someone doesn’t want people finding their little cache. Hopefully the creatures out there, who enjoy such things, will but failing that I’m sure our mycological friends will set things to right eventually.

Thur, December 10th

Morning Walk: 3.49 miles. Calories: 2036, Protein: 140 g.

Fri, December 11th

Morning Walk: 3.11 miles.

  • Arnold Press: 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 25 lbs. x 9 reps + 20 lbs. x 3 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Twenty-One’s (FR 12 lbs., LR 10 lbs., RD 12 lbs.): 3 sets
  • Super Set
    • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 40 lbs. x 15 reps, 45 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Light Spring Bar (over head): 8-S, 8-P, 12-S, 6-P
      • I tried the heavy spring over with a supinated grip over my head. I could barely bend it, which was where I was at some months ago when I started bending the heavy bar at chest level. Changing up an exercise can sure make it a lot harder or easier!
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 12.5 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 and 15 reps, 15 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps
    • (Set #3) Two Handed DB American Swings: 20 lbs. x 15 reps
    • (Set #4) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 60 reps

Calories: 2057, Protein: 137 g.

It isn’t a big deal or anything, but whoever dumped this stuff should have taken the stickers off first for various reasons, not the least of which is no stickers would have made my close up way better!

Sat, December 12th

Morning Walk: 3.0 miles.

I was planning on lifting some weights but I ended up spending the day having fun with the family instead and didn’t want to interrupt our good times with rows and pull downs, though I enjoy lifting weights and was a little tempted. I’ve been working out a decent amount lately, so I’m sure my body won’t say no to an extra bit of recovery time.

Calories: 2540, Protein: 141 g. (I was the same weight as last week, so my total loss is 17.2 lbs. so far.)


Work Outs: Nov 29 – Dec 5, 2020 (A meatloaf and a spider.)

Sun, November 29th

I made a planted-based meatloaf today using this recipe from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen.* I made a double batch and went somewhat by the recipe, but with some differences:

  • I used dried, minced onion because we were out of onion powder.
  • I used Panko bread crumbs.
  • I went half and half with Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce because we were almost out of the former.
  • I mixed the ketchup into the loaf before cooking instead of putting it on top as the recipe suggested. Additionally, I brushed a tablespoon of barbeque sauce on top before cooking.
  • I cooked the loaf in a Pyrex loaf pan instead of on a baking sheet.

We enjoyed the finished product and I also liked how easy it was to make. (Meatloaf in general is a pretty easy recipe.) I used Impossible Burger meat this time. The next time I might try Beyond Beef, which we highly favor for taco night. The only possible negative I noticed this time was that it had a somewhat compacted texture. This did make it easy to slice and would make for good sandwiches.

Mon, November 30th

Morning Walk: 3.30 miles. Calories: 2054, Protein: 135 g.

Tues, December 1st

Morning Walk: 3.10 miles.

I didn’t like how my left index finger felt today when I was doing some warm-up sets with the hand grippers, so I decided to give the Captains of Crush a miss today. One thing I’ve learned over the years is not to “work through” small things like this.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsWalking Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 Hindu Squats
ClubsStair Incline Push-ups10 Cossack Squats (Partials)
DiamondsBent Over FB Rows + Side Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 FB Shovels (2-ct)
SpadesEven: Leg Raises
Odd: Standing Side Crunches (2-ct)
10 FB Rom. Dead Lifts
Aces (any suit)/Jokers20 Full Squats

I found a pair of exercise handles at the thrift store the other day and used them for the first time today for push ups.** I won’t use them all the time, but I like having them and the price was certainly right. I used them to do push-ups with my hands in a neutral position, where the palms are facing each other.

These also might be useful for my husband, because he is prone to having wrist problems when he does push ups in the usual way with his hands flat on the floor.

Calories: 2115, Protein: 134 g.

Wed, December 2nd

Morning Walk: 3.28 miles. Calories: 2223, Protein: 113 g.

Thur, December 3rd

Morning Walk: 3.16 miles.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 4mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps, 25 lbs. x 12 reps
    • I did this today instead of incline push-up’s I’ve been doing lately. The cellar stairs were unavailable because of an on-going home improvement project.
  • Light Spring Bar (over head): 8-P, 5-S, 8-P, 5-S
    • P = pronated, S = supinated. Doing this with the bar over my head instead of at around chest level makes the exercise a lot harder.
  • Super Set
    • DB Flies: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 40 lbs. x 15 reps, 45 lbs. x 3 sets x 10 reps
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) Standing Side Crunches (each side): 20 reps
    • (Set #3) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 50 reps
    • (Set #4) DB Front Raises 10 lbs. x 15 reps
  • (Exercise Complex) Wrist Pronation and Supination (light wood axe) 12 reps, DB Hammer Curls 15 lbs. x 15 reps, DB Lateral Raises 12 lbs. x 12 reps, DB Shrugs 30 lbs. x 12 reps, Alternating One-Handed KB American Swings (2-ct) 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Full Squats 20 reps, Calf Raises 30 reps, Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) x 25 reps, External Shoulder Rotation (black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps

I found this little sprite lurking on the resistance tubes that I often use as part of my warm up. So I did what anyone would do and asked if I could work in for a few sets and then did my thing. All went well until I noticed the spider crawling on my arm when I was in the middle of doing some light external shoulder rotation work. Had a little laugh and relocated the beastie someplace better for all concerned. Silly sprite!

My little friend, as far as I can tell is some sort of “grass spider” or funnel web spider of the genus Agelenopsis. It looks a bit like a hobo spider, but the markings as well as the shape of the thorax and abdomen seem off for one of those. I’m not a spider expert though by any means.

Calories: 2303, Protein: 114 g.

Fri, December 4th

  • Morning Walk: 3.09 miles.
  • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Straight Arm Pull Downs (purple band): 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Super Set
    • Fitness Bag Bicep Curls: 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Face Pulls: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Exercise Complex: Wrist Roller (cable) 15 lbs. x 1 winding, Bell Tower Crunches (ea. side) 17.5 lbs. x 12 reps, Fitness Bag Cleans x 12 reps, Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg) x 12 reps, Internal and External Shoulder Rotation through frontal plane (orange band, ea. arm) x 12 reps, Reverse Flies (purple band) x 12 reps, Bicep Curls (fitness rock) x 12 reps

Calories: 2540, Protein: 141 g.

Sat, December 5th

Morning Walk: 7.11 miles. (I was down 3.2 pounds for the week, so my total loss is 17.2 lbs. so far.)

* My husband went plant-based a little under year-and-a-half ago. I consequently also eat a lot of plant-based meals, though I remain a mostly plant-based omnivore.

** Technically, it was the second time. The first time was when I wanted to make sure they weren’t cracked or otherwise compromised, so I tried them out by knocking out a few push ups on the thrift store floor, much to the amusement of a lady and her daughter, who were further down the aisle looking at glassware.

Work Outs: November 22 – 28, 2020 (Thanksgiving Pie, and Emperor Cats)

Sun, November 22nd

Pretty much the same kind of day as last Sunday: Parcheesi, hung out with my husband and cats and watched movies. Speaking of cats, I took this picture of one of my cats on Thanksgiving Day when I happened to notice that the light and shadow were just so where he was sitting. I think for a cell phone photograph it came out pretty good.

His legal name is Wyatt and he joined us in 2015 as an adolescent. I thought perhaps he had been named after Wyatt Earp, but alas the woman we adopted him from told me that in fact he was named after the street she trapped him on when he was feral. We thought about continuing our string of naming pets, plants, file servers and so on after Roman emperors in the order they reigned (of course), but I decided Wyatt didn’t seem like either a Servius or a Galba, so Wyatt he stayed.

Mon, November 23rd

Morning Walk: 3.27 miles. Calories: 2000, Protein: 100 g.

Tues, November 24th

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 9 reps, Left = 14mm x 8 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 14mm x 9 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 6 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 4 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 3 reps, Left = 10mm x 2 reps

Fitness Bag Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsWalking Lunges + Front Kick Stretch10 Full Squats
ClubsStair Incline Push-ups10 Cossack Squats
DiamondsBent Over FB Rows10 FB Shovels
SpadesFB Snatches10 FB Rom. Dead Lifts
Aces (any suit)/Jokers20 Full Squats

I changed the workout a little from last week. I don’t think that being sore for an entire week from the lunges is such a good idea, so I decreased the lunge volume a bit and added in some mobility work. Found some interesting information about Cossack Squats here, though my goal is to perform the exercise more like in this video.

Calories: 2010, Protein: 101 g.

My last Roman emperor cat was Nero and thinking about him brings up a lot of nice memories. (He passed away in 2014.) As you can see below, he was pretty hard on scratching posts, liked small boxes and was fond of 6th edition Warhammer 40K. I found him a worthy Emperor Cat indeed!

Wed, November 25th

Morning Jog-Walk: 3.28 miles. Calories: 2566, Protein: 97

Thur, November 26th

We had a nice Thanksgiving Day. My husband wanted to bake a vegetable and tofu pie for the holiday, which I thought was nice, and turned out to be tasty too.

Fri, November 27th

  • Arnold Press: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Incline Push-ups (4th riser on cellar stairs): 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Light Spring Bar: 50 reps
  • Twenty-One’s: 12 lbs. x 3 sets
    • I learned to do this exercise back in the ’80’s in a specific order: Front Raises, Lateral Raises, then Rear Delts. I see no reason, though, why it has to be done in this order. So for fun I did the exercises in a different order for each set.
  • Super Set
    • DB Flies: 8 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 40 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Exercise Complex: One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 10 lbs. x 12 reps, Small Arm Circles 50 revolutions each way, Dead Bugs (2-ct) 20 reps, Standing Side Crunches (ea. side) 12 reps
  • Captains of Crush Gripper Sport (S): 6 sets x 5 reps

Sat, November 28th

  • Morning Walk: 3.09 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout
    • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 2 sets x 13 reps
    • Fitness Bag Bicep Curls: 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Fitness Bag Cleans x 12 reps, DB Shrugs 25 lbs. x 12 reps, Wrist Roller (cable) 15 lbs. x 1 winding, Bell Tower Crunches (ea. side) 17.5 lbs. x 12 reps, One Handed Alternating American Kettlebell Swings (2-ct) 15 lbs. x 12 reps, DB Hammer Curls 12 lbs. x 12 reps, Face Pulls 17.5 lbs. x 12 reps, Calf Raises x 30 reps, Twist Yo’ Wrist (cable) 10 lbs. x 2 windings, Wrist Supination and Pronation (ea. arm) with light wood axe x 12 reps, Dead Bugs (2-ct) x 30 reps, Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) x 25 reps, External Shoulder Rotation (black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps, DB Punch Up’s w/ 2 second hold 12 lbs. x 12 reps

(I was up 3.6 pounds for the week, so my total loss is 14 lbs. so far.)

Work Outs: November 15 – 21, 2020 (Living to a hundred … and manzanita)

This has been a good work out week in that I achieved a couple of the goals on my list. Thinking about goals turned my thoughts to a gentleman we met out on the trails quite some time ago now.

He is “a little north of 90” and said that his “goal is to live to at least a hundred so I started walking every day when I retired. I’m down now sometimes to as little as three days a week and I don’t walk if it is raining too hard either. Don’t walk as fast as I used to either. Still think I’m doing pretty good.”

Yup, I agree, that is pretty good!

He had a pretty neat stick, which he made himself, and was kind enough to let me take some pictures to show of his walking stick online. I cropped the pictures, since I didn’t ask permission to put his face on the internet.

Sun, November 15th

Today was a lazy day at home with no training or doing much of anything other than watching movies and such, playing online Parcheesi, and talking to my husband and the cats.

Mon, November 16th

Morning Walk: 2.99 miles. Calories: 1918, Protein: 106 g.

Tues, November 17th

Morning Walk: 3.02 miles.

I thought I’d change things up and do something a little different today. I talked about the Deck of Cards Workout last week, so I decided to do one this afternoon after the obligatory gripper training. I weighted the session a bit toward full squats, since increasing those is one of my major goals right now. Turned out to be a pretty good workout.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 7 reps, Left = 14mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 6 reps, Left = 14mm x 8 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 14mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 14mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 4 reps, Left = 12mm x 4 reps

Achieved my current goal with the gripper today, which was to close it to 14mm for four sets of 5 reps with my (weaker) left hand. My new goal is the same, only to 10mm now.

Fitness Bag Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsWalking Lunges (2-ct)10 Full Squats
ClubsStair Incline Push-ups10 Dead Bugs (2-ct)
DiamondsBent Over FB Rows10 FB Shovels (2-ct)
SpadesFB Snatches10 FB Rom. Dead Lifts
Aces (any suit)/Jokers20 Full Squats

When I was putting together this workout, I looked at various fitness bag exercises and got some ideas from this video. The bag shovel exercise, in particular, was new to me.

Calories: 1993, Protein: 128 g.

Wed, November 18th

Took a day off of training and worked on some writing. Calories: 2086, Protein: 120 g.

Thur, November 19th

Today I decided to test where I was at with the spring bar and the Arnold Press. I was pretty surprised so far as the spring bar goes. As for the presses, I think my current goal of 40 lb. dumbbells is certainly a long range one that will probably take quite awhile to accomplish. Come to think of it, though, I would have said the same thing about the spring bar around the first of the year. Time will tell.

Based on what I’m seeing today I added a micro goal for the Arnold Press of 35 lb. dumbbells for 4 sets of 12 reps.

  • Arnold Press: 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps, 35 lbs. x 6 reps
  • Heavy Spring Bar: (alternating pronated and supinated sets): 4 sets x 8 reps.

I achieved my spring bar goal today of 4 sets of 8 reps. My next goal is to bend the bar for 4 sets of 12 reps.

  • Twenty-Four’s (Same as 21’s except 8 reps per exercise): 10 lbs. x 4 sets
  • Standing Push-ups using cellar stairs:
    • (Sets #1 – #2) 15 reps (Hands on 4th riser, feet on floor)
    • (Sets #3 – #4) 4/6 reps, 3/5 reps (First number is hands on 3rd riser, which makes things harder. The second number is for hands on 4th riser once I couldn’t do anymore on the 3rd
  • Super Set: Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 40 lbs. x 15, 13, 10, 10 reps +
    • (Set #1): Walk holding fitness rock over my head x 50 steps
    • (Set #2): Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) x 20 reps
    • (Set #3): External Shoulder Rotation (black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps
    • (Set #4): Internal Shoulder Rotation (black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps
  • Exercise Complex: One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 10 lbs. x 12 reps, Small Arm Circles 100 revolutions CW then 50 CCW, Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 20 reps
  • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 1904, Protein: 109 g.

We certainly see a lot of manzanita when we are out walking on the local trails. It originally caught my eye because there is a lot of it and also because I’d never seen any in the other places I’ve lived. I’m sure there was some where I lived in Texas, in the 1980’s, but I wasn’t really looking at nature quite the same way then as I do now.

The pleasing color and how the bark peels also caught my interest. The berries are edible and that the tree has many “medicinal purposes.” I also learned it doesn’t need much water and does well in poor soil, which pretty much describes much of the area where I’m finding these trees.

According to Wikipedia, manzanita is also sometimes called “mountain driftwood” because it grows in odd, twisted shapes and turns white or gray as it rots (slowly), “rendering it superficially akin to animal bones.” I’ll have to ask around my area and find out if that is a common name here. So far, all I’ve found out about it from asking around is that it “burns hot,” which I tested out for myself some time ago and agree!

Fri, November 20th

  • Morning Walk: 3.19 miles.
  • Afternoon Training:
    • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Super Set:
      • Standing Bicep Curls (fitness bag) : 4 sets x 8 reps.
      • Twist Yo’ Wrist (cable): 7.5 lbs. x 4 sets x two windings
    • Farmer’s Walk (40 lb. DB’s): 115 steps or from where the dumbbells were sitting on my bench, out the door, looped the drive and back inside.
    • (Exercise Complex): Fitness Bag Cleans 12 reps, Face Pulls 15 lbs. x 12 reps, Fitness Bag Shovels x 12 reps, Full Squats 30 reps, Wrist Rolling (cable) 10 lbs. x one winding, Bell Tower Crunches (ea. side) 17.5 lbs. x 12 reps, Whirling Dervishes (ea. way) 10 revolutions

Calories: 2115, Protein: 136 g.

Sat, November 21st

(I lost 0.4 pounds for the week, so my total lost is 17.6 lbs. so far.)

Work Outs: November 8 – 14, 2020 (and the mystery of the logs solved)

Sun, November 8th

Today turned out to be an involuntary rest day. Both my husband and I had a bunch of stuff going on, so I couldn’t block out some time to do a formal workout or go walking. I liked the Deck of Cards workout back when I used to travel a lot. The general idea is you assign exercises by suit, such as Full Squats when you draw a club. You do the number of reps corresponding to the number on card with, say, 10 reps for a face card and 20 reps for an ace. One can make the workout easy or complicated as one chooses.

Usually one completes the workout in a single session. I did it a little differently. When I had a few moments I’d reach in my pocket and draw out a couple of cards and knock out some reps of whatever was called for. I did this off and on all day long. It wasn’t ideal, but I found a way to work in some exercise.

Calories: 2104, Protein 120 g.

Mon, November 9th

  • Morning Walk: 2.97 miles.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 8mm x 8 reps, Left = 16mm x 8 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 8mm x 8 reps, Left = 16mm x 8 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 8mm x 8 reps, Left = 16mm x 8 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 8mm x 9 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 8 + 1 reps
      • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 3 + 1 reps, Left = 14mm x 5 + 1 reps
  • Leg Complex: FOUR SETS {Full Squats: 20 reps, Romanian Dead Lifts (12 lb. db’s): 12 reps, Walking Lunges (2-ct): 6 reps, Alternating Sets of Side-Kick Stretch and Front Kick Stretch (2-ct): 12 reps}
  • Exercise Complex: Standing Calf Raises: 25 reps, Bell Tower Crunches (ea. side): 15 lbs. x 12 reps, Cossack Squats (partials, ea. leg): 6 reps, Single Leg Standing Calf Raises (each leg): 6 reps, Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps, Jumping Jacks (4-ct): 20 reps
  • Did a little stretching to end the workout.

Calories: 1993, Protein: 105 g.

I’ve been hiking off and on past this old, rotting log for some years now. I always thought that the SL on one end meant “San Lorenzo” for San Lorenzo Valley. Then, we recently came upon a guy cutting up some trees alongside another trail and I saw the MD and so I wondered and the mystery deepened.

I wasn’t going to say anything but the guy happened to turn off his chainsaw and started taking a break so I asked him about it. Turns out that the people cutting down the trees like to indulge in carving their initials with their chainsaws. If I’m remembering correctly, the M in MD is for Mike, and Mike thought that the S in SL was Steve but he wasn’t sure. Mike had quite a laugh when I told him about my San Lorenzo Theory. Glad we’ve gotten that mystery cleared up! I’d have asked Mike more about it, but I didn’t want to bother him on his break.

Tues, November 10th

  • Afternoon Training
    • Twenty-One’s: (Sets #1 – #3) 12 lbs., (Set #4) Lateral Raises 15 lbs., Front Raises 12 lbs. x 5 reps + 10 lbs. x 2 reps, Rear Delt Raises 15 lbs.
    • Standing Push-ups using cellar stairs:
      • (Sets #1 – #2) 15 reps (Feet on stairs)
      • (Sets #3 – #4) 12, 8 reps (Feet on floor rather than steps and hands on 3rd riser, which makes things a little harder.)
    • Arnold Press:
      • (Set #1) 20 lbs. x 12 reps
      • (Set #2) 20 lbs. x 8 reps + 15 lbs. x 4 reps
      • (Set #3) 20 lbs. x 9 reps + 15 lbs. x 3 reps
      • (Set #4) 25 lbs. x 7 reps + 20 lbs. x 5 reps
      • I’m going to add a new long-term goal: I want to be able to do four sets of 12 reps using 40 lb. dumbbells.
    • Heavy Spring Bar (alternating pronated and supinated sets): 4 sets x 5 reps
      • I think that with continued effort I have a good chance of reaching my goal of four sets of eight reps by the end of the year. We’ll see!
    • Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Super Set: Tricep Pushdowns (str. bar): 40 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
      • (Set #1): Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
      • (Set #2): Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 15 reps
      • (Set #3): Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set #4): Fitness Bag Pick up and Shoulder x 8 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) 15 reps, Small Arm Circles 50 revolutions each way, Front Squats 20 reps, One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle) 10 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 2046, Protein: 110 g.

Wed/Thur, November 11th – 12th

Spent the past two days working on our house and doing some light demolition, including moving out an old, dead woodstove that has been cluttering up a corner in our living room since 2014!

The dead stove might easily have sat for another six years, but I’ve been spending a lot more time at home, as have many I’m sure, so it seems like a good time to get these sorts of projects done.

  • Wed: Calories: 1825, Protein: 104 g.
  • Thur: Calories: 1980, Protein: 131 g.

Fri, November 13th

  • Afternoon Training:
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 + 3 reps, Left = 14mm x 5 + 1 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 6 + 1 reps, Left = 14mm x 6 + 1 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 6 + 1 reps, Left = 14mm x 6 + 1 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 4 + 2 reps, Left = 14mm x 5 + 1 reps
      • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 3 + 3 reps, Left = 12mm x 3 + 3 reps
    • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 60 lbs. x 15 reps, 65 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Cable Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 13 reps, 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Standing Bicep Curls (cat litter fitness bag) : 4 sets x 12 reps. Finished with a set of DB curls: 25 lbs. x 8 reps
    • Farmer’s Walk (40 lb. DB’s): 115 steps or from where the dumbbells were sitting on my bench, out the door, looped the drive and back inside.
    • Fitness Bag Cleans (alternating sets of parallel and overhand grips): 2 sets x 12 reps, 2 sets x 13 reps
    • (Exercise Complex) Wood Chops (ea. side): 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Bell Tower Crunches (ea. side): 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Dead Bugs (2-ct): 25 reps, 2-hd American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Full Squats: 25 reps
    • Finger Extensions (8 lb. band): 4 sets x 15 reps
    • Over Head Press (Fitness Rock): 25 reps. (I think I might start seeing if I can do these one-handed for fewer reps.)
    • Stretched a little to end the workout.

Calories: 1995, Protein: 115 g.

Sat, November 14th

Rest day. Not sure what my calories were today. (I lost 0.4 pounds for the week, so my total lost is 17.6 lbs. so far.)

Work Outs: November 1 – 7, 2020 (My Garden of Nurgle)

I was hacking away in one corner of our property this past Monday, clearing out some of the blackberry bushes and the like, which will most certainly take over if you left them. Once I had things pruned back pretty well who did I see but my old friend, Shelf Fungus.

“My how you’ve grown!” I exclaimed and ran in the house to get a tape measure. Turns out Shelf Fungus had gone from being about the size of my hand to about a foot-and-a-half across!

I thought that was pretty neat. Then I went on with my life and soon forgot about poor Shelf Fungus again until Subedai made a “Garden of Nurgle” comment about The Fence Made out of Branches. At that moment I knew what my ancillary theme for this week’s workout report would be.

Sun, November 1st

  • Afternoon Training
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 4 + 1 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 8 + 1 reps
      • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 1 + 4 reps, Left = 14mm x 1 + 4 reps
  • Leg Complex: FOUR SETS {Full Squats x 15 x 17 x 19 x 21 reps, Romanian Dead Lifts (10 lb. db’s) x 12 reps, Walking Lunges (2-ct): 6 reps, Side-Kick Stretch (2-ct): 12}
  • Exercise Complex: Standing Calf Raises x 20 reps, Front Kick Stretch (2-ct) x 12 reps, Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps, Single Leg Standing Calf Raises (each leg): 6 reps, Internal and External Shoulder Rotation (black band, each arm) x 12 reps
  • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 1984, Protein 59 g.

No Garden of Nurgle would be complete without some wildlife and I think this scorpion I found under our trashcans is a particularly nice, little sprite. To my uneducated eye, the body shape suggests the California Forest Scorpion while the coloration looks more like the California Common Scorpion.

Apparently these beasties can live up to ten years, so they could make good pets. I kept a damaged scorpion for two years, which I found in a mud impression made by a Jeep tire tread. (It has been several decades and my memory might be faulty, but looking at pictures now I’d say it was a Striped Rock Scorpion.) It had lost two legs on one side and didn’t get around so well. I kept it in a little terrarium and fed it all sorts of different things, which weren’t too hard to find in central Texas.

The First Sergeant let me keep it and said, “Release it when its legs grow back.” Well, neither of us knew this at the time, but apparently their legs don’t grow back when they molt, especially if they are already adults when they lose them. Eventually Mr. Claws became part of the landscape and even that one roommate (there were usually four of us to a room) who hated him got used to him after awhile.

When I mustered out, I took Mr. Claws with me to Austin, Texas, when I lived there for a few months. I guess he didn’t like the move because he died not too long after that. I was very sad. Looking back, the death of Mr. Claws closed out a chapter in my life because I moved back to Maine and began college very soon after Le Morte d’Claws.

Mon, November 2nd

  • Morning Walk: 3.10 miles. Also did about 2.5 hours of yard work.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.99 miles. Total mileage for the day was 7.09 miles.

Calories: 2067, Protein: 110 g.

Here are some closer pictures of my friend, Shelf Fungus. You can click on them to make them larger if you have a sudden, burning desire to see close-ups. I know I would!

I did a little poking around and I think it might be a Ganoderma brownii, which Wikipedia reports if very common where I live. The stump is a California bay laurel and the branches, which are still growing out of what is left of the tree, have some very pleasant leaves that remind one of cinnamon. (I’m sorry that the people who previously owned our house had to chop it down.) The fungus is very commonly found on this species of tree and has a preference for hardwoods in general, so this lends some weight to my supposition. Once things open back up again, I might make contact with the local mushroom experts and see if they give me a more definitive identification.

So far the fungus has confined itself to this stump and hasn’t gone after the nearby redwoods. I’m not surprised because, frankly, redwoods seem to be hardy in the extreme, which you would expect from plants that can live for thousands of years. Furthermore, and probably more importantly, I had a serious heart to heart with the fungus and told it if it starts messing with them I’d bust out my pruning saw and have it off the stump quicker than you could say “parasite!”

Tues, November 3rd

  • Afternoon Training
    • Shoulder Complex: THREE SETS { [Twenty-One’s: lateral raises (12 lb. DB’s), front raises (12 lbs.), and rear delt rows (12 lbs.)] + [Arnold Presses: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 reps, 25 lbs. x 6 reps + 20 lbs. 4 reps] }
    • Standing Push-ups using cellar stairs: 12 x 12 x 12 x 12 reps
    • Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Spring Bar: 5H x 3 sets, 3H + 5L
    • Super Set: Tricep Pushdowns (str. bar): 35 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 40 lbs. x 12 reps +
      • (Set #1): Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20
      • (Set #2): Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 13 reps
      • (Set #3): Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set #4): Fitness Bag Pick up and Shoulder x 8 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) x 12 reps, One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle) 10 lbs. x 12 reps, Front Squats x 20 reps, Whirling Dervishes (ea. way) 10 revolutions, Front Kick Stretch into Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg) x 10 reps, Overhead Press (rock) x 20 reps
    • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 2103, Protein: 105 g.

I don’t feel like I’d be doing my Garden of Nurgle post justice nor would it be quite complete without including with some pictures of banana slugs. These pictures have been languishing on my phone for some months now and I’ve been meaning to post them but keep forgetting. Let’s just say that “April is the month for banana slugs,” because the pictures in the little slideshow below are mostly of different slugs, despite the similar backgrounds, and not multiple pictures of the same beastie.

Wed, November 4th

  • Morning Walk: 3.24 miles.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.24 miles. I found it interesting that the mileage was the same, down to the 100th of a mile, even though we walked a different route in the afternoon than we did in the morning. Total mileage for the day was 6.48 miles.

Calories: 1915, Protein: 103 g.

Thurs, November 5th

  • Afternoon Training:
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 6 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 5 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 + 1 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 6 + 1 reps
      • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 2 + 4 reps, Left = 14mm x 5 + 1 reps
      • Worked in some sets with the grippers just using my thumb, which doesn’t get much direct work with this exercise, and did a few sets of opening the hands with the 8 lb. band when I was warming up my back for rows and pull downs.
    • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 60 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 65 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps
    • Cable Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 4 sets x 13 reps
    • Standing Bicep Curls (cat litter fitness bag) : 4 sets x 12 reps
      • This wasn’t in my list of goals, but this is the first time I’ve been able to do four high quality sets of 12 reps with the bag, so I’m pretty pleased about that.
    • Fitness Bag Cleans (alternating sets of parallel and overhand grips): 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps, Wood Chops (ea. side): 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Full Squats: 20 reps, 2-hd American KB Swings (15 lbs.) x 12 reps
    • Farmer’s Walk (40 lb. DB’s): 100 Steps
    • Stretched a little to end the workout.

Calories: 2010, Protein: 116 g.

I’ve heard people in the area say that banana slugs don’t have any known predators because of a foul, anesthetizing slime they excrete. According to Wikipedia, though, “Racoons, garter snakes, ducks, geese and salamanders sometimes eat banana slugs; they roll the slugs in soil to bind the slime,” and young slugs are “sometimes eaten by moles and shrews.”

Apparently people eat/ate them too, including the “Yurok Indians of the North Coast” as well as “German immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries,” and there is a festival about 60 miles from San Francisco, California where they have a cooking contest. I have to admit I’m intrigued, especially by the recipes involving vinegar and cornmeal. Alas, I’ve gone soft in my old age. Now I’d much rather admire them and say, “Hail and well met, friend!” and perhaps rescue one if it was drying out on the concrete in the sun rather than rolling it in cornmeal.

Fri, November 6th

  • Morning Walk: 3.27 miles.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.25 miles. Total mileage for the day was 6.52 miles. Did 25 full squats a bit later when I had the opportunity.

Calories: 2104, Protein: 108 g.

I could easily go crazy with this whole Garden of the Grandfather thing because I have all sorts of pictures on my over-burdened phone. So I think I’ll take a middle path and conclude with the gallery below.

Come to think of it, maybe I did go a little crazy …

Sat, November 7th

Rest day. Calories: 2045, Protein: 127 g. (I lost 2 pounds for the week, so my total lost is 17.2 lbs. so far.)

Work Outs: Oct 25 – 31, 2020 (SS Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship)

We visited the liberty ship, SS Jeremiah O’Brien, in May 2013, which was named after a politician and businessman from Maine. It was (and still is) moored near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA. These pictures have been languishing on my phone for all of these years, so I thought it might be nice to continue freeing up some room on my ancient but still plucky Galaxy 6 and post them here.

Sun, October 25th

Rest Day. Calories: 2279, Protein 88 g.

Mon, October 26th

  • About 30 minutes of Cardio Yard Work.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 8mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 3 + 2 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 8mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 2 + 3 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 0 + 5 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 16mm x 0 + 5 reps
    • Open Hand (8 lb. Band): 2 sets x 10 reps
    • Leg Complex: FOUR SETS {Full Squats x 15 reps, Lunges (2-ct): 6 reps, Romanian Dead Lifts (8 lb. db’s): 12 reps, Side-Kick Stretch (2-ct): 12}
    • Exercise Complex: Standing Calf Raises x 15 reps, Front Kick Stretch (2-ct) x 12 reps, Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 12 reps, Single Leg Standing Calf Raises (each leg): 6 reps, Internal and External Shoulder Rotation (black band, each arm) x 12 reps
    • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 1954, Protein: 132 g.

There were 2,710 of these Liberty ships built, and by design very quickly too, but there are only 3 left and only the O’Brien remains “in its original and fully functional form.”

Tues, October 27th

  • Afternoon Training
    • Shoulder Complex: THREE SETS { [Twenty-One’s: lateral raises (12 lb. DB’s), front raises (10 lbs. x 2 sets, 12 lbs. x 1 set), and rear delt rows (12 lbs.)] + [Arnold Presses: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 reps, 25 lbs. x 5 reps + 20 lbs. 5 reps] }
    • Standing Push-ups using cellar stairs: 12 x 12 x 10 x 10 reps
    • Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Spring Bar: 3H + 5L reps x 2 sets, 5H reps, 4H reps
    • Super Set: Tricep Pushdowns (str. bar): 35 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
      • (Set #1): Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20
      • (Set #2): Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
      • (Set #3): Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set #4): Fitness Bag Pick up and Shoulder x 8 reps
        • One rep = picking up bag off floor and hefting it onto my shoulder, transfer bag to other shoulder, and place (not drop or slam) bag back on the floor.
      • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 1970, Protein: 118 g.

I found it interesting to learn, when we visited, that the ship was built in South Portland, Maine in 1943 because South Portland wasn’t too far from the last place we lived in Maine some years ago. I also have fond memories of the Portland area because the city was the backdrop for my first, great adventure as a child in the late 1970’s, when my parents let me take my first long distance bus ride alone to go to a game convention.

A couple of shots of the rather busy deck.

Wed, October 28th

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.
  • Afternoon Training:
    • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Cable Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Standing Bicep Curls (cat litter fitness bag) : 3 sets x 12 reps, 1 set x 8 reps + 15 lb. DB’s x 4 reps
    • Exercise Complex: TWO SETS { Wood Chops (ea. side): 15 lbs. x 12 reps, Internal Rotation (20 lb. black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps, Farmer’s Walk: 30 lb. DB’s x 100 steps }
    • Exercise Complex: TWO SETS { Spread & Raise Hands (light orange band) x 12 reps, Internal Rotation (20 lb. black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps, Fitness Bag Cleans (parallel grip) x 8 reps }
    • Stretched a little to end the workout.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 95 g.

Thurs, October 28th

  • Afternoon Training:
    • Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Levels 9 – 14. I followed this video on the Vive Health channel. The workout was interval training along with some upper body range of motion work and getting off the bike for three sets of squats. I used my fitness bag for the squats. While I might not be the target audience for Coach Kim’s running banter, I did enjoy the workout. It was pretty basic in a good way and made the time go by quickly.
    • Stretched a little to end the workout.

Calories: 2010, Protein: 107 g.

A few shots of the ship’s guts. I remember being struck by how everything looked ready to go and ship shape. Real Bristol Fashion! Apparently my impression was correct because in 1994 the O’Brien sailed to France and England, in an 18,000 mile round trip back to San Francisco to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, which it took part in as “part of the Operation Neptune invasion fleet armada.”

Fri, October 30th

  • Morning Walk: 3.35 miles.
  • Afternoon Walk: 2.33 miles. Total mileage for the day was 5.68 miles.

Calories: 2140, Protein: 113 g.

Sat, October 31st

Morning Walk: 7.24 miles. (I lost 2.2 pounds for the week so my total lost is 15.2 lbs. so far.) Not sure what the calories were today because we did our weekly restaurant run. (Pizza!) I think that I kept it to reasonable numbers though.

The USS Pampanito was located nearby though we didn’t get a chance to tour that vessel. This submarine was also built in 1943 and “completed six war patrols from 1944 to 1945 and served as a Naval Reserve Training ship from 1960 to 1971.”

Also, there was no shortage of sea gulls to beg food from the gullible and bomb (both dive and high level) the unwary! I vaguely remember taking a picture of the young avian above because it made quite an impression with its hectoring and screeching at anyone who passed by. Seemed this gull was determined to defend its piling from all comers both human and otherwise!